Monday, February 24, 2014

Public Safety Department Opts for Updated Key Control

Many police departments have their fleet of vehicles keyed identically.

While it's convenient for officers to grab one key to operate any vehicle, it's also convenient for potential thieves.

The Greenacres, FL Public Safety Department felt these concerns, so officials decided to step up their key and vehicle security. Although it cost a pretty penny to rekey all the vehicles ($4,019, to be exact), they knew the benefits would outweigh the expense.

After creating individual keys for each vehicle, the department needed a secure location and compartment to store keys and a way to track them. An electronic key control system solved both of these problems and more.

With an electronic key control system, users must provide a form of authorization such as a password or fingerprint before they can remove a key. If an unauthorized user attempts to access a key, the system will send an alert directly to the administrator by text or email. The system also houses the keys in a single location, so there is no more guessing where specific keys are located. The system tracks who checks out a key and when, providing accountability where previously there was none.

Check out our blog series "Electronic Key Management Systems: Common Misconceptions" for more information about the benefits of key control systems.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Lack of Key Control Spurs RV Thefts

RV dealerships sell everything from trailers to campers to motor homes and more, which adds up to a high value inventory. It's essential to limit access to these vehicles to prevent theft, but with outdated key control, this task can be extremely difficult.

In January 2014, the FBI caught a West Michigan thief who stole six RVs, worth a total of $1.5 million, from several different dealerships across the United States. One way to prevent RV thefts of this kind at your dealership is to properly secure keys.

With an electronic key control system, only authorized users can access keys. This method of key control enhances accountability for managers, owners and employees. The system keeps a real-time log of who checks keys out of the system and what key(s) they take.

You can also set up text or email alerts with an electronic system. If you only allow RV demo keys to be checked out for 30 minutes but one is out for longer, you'll get an alert, making it easier to immediately identify theft.

If you're still skeptical about the technology, check out our "Electronic Key Management Systems: Common Misconceptions" blog series.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

How Key Control Can Help Jewelry Stores Reduce the Risk of Internal Theft

Man buying necklace in jewelry store
In 2017, jewelry stores lost $54 million in on-premises crimes. When thinking about on-site crimes, you may picture armed robberies and smash and grabs, but in fact, you could be handing thieves the keys to your inventory. According to the National Retail Security Survey 2017, 30 percent of retail inventory shrinkage is caused by employee theft.

Here are just a few examples from the retail jewelry industry:

  • An employee stole and pawned $56,000 worth of jewelry from RamZs Emporium. The employee was responsible for organizing the showcases, which gave her full access to the entire inventory.
  • At a Kay Jewelers store, an employee stole an $8,000 Neil Lane ring and tried reselling it to another jeweler in the area. Fortunately, an employee there recognized that it had come from Kay Jewelers since it still had the tag.
  • An executive for Tiffany & Co. used her access privileges and knowledge of the store’s inventory auditing procedures to steal over 160 pieces of jewelry.

These stories all illustrate how important it is to keep a verifiable record of who’s accessing your inventory. What steps are you taking to protect your valuable merchandise against insider thefts?

In addition to other security measures, such as security cameras, electronic key control can help secure your inventory and hold employees accountable. To improve your key control practices, follow the tips below.

Heavily Secure Your Most Valuable Items

Some key control systems feature tamper-proof lockers, which can require up to three different modes of authorization and varying levels of access. For instance, to provide the utmost security for expensive pieces, you can require users to obtain both a manager and owner's approval to open a locker containing a high-value item.

Secure Keys That Allow Access to Jewelry

Once you've locked up your jewelry for the night, you need a safe place to keep keys. Electronic key control systems will secure keys behind varying levels of access and will only open after verifying a fingerprint, passcode and/or key fob. The system will create a record of each person who removes a key, along with the date and time. With this audit trail, you’ll lessen the chances of internal theft and will be able to quickly identify the last person to access an item.

Create Access Levels

To protect your jewelry from insider theft, give employees, assistant managers and managers each different levels of access to your key control system. For example, you can restrict employees’ system login privileges to business hours. If someone needs to retrieve a higher-end item from the system, require two employees (preferably with at least one one of those people at management level) to enter their system credentials. You can also choose to be notified by text or email if someone tries to access an item they aren't permitted to access.

By taking advantage of the benefits of electronic key control, you can help reduce your risk of internal theft and lost profits.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Four Vehicles Stolen After Thieves 'Somehow' Obtained Keys

Many car dealers see dealership thefts on the news and think it could never happen to them. But unfortunately, victims of theft come in all shapes and sizes.

Four Toyota vehicles were stolen from the Penticton Toyota dealership in British Columbia, Canada, totaling a $170,000 loss. The thieves "somehow managed to obtain the keys" after the vehicles were unloaded from a delivery truck. Luckily, all four vehicles were found a few days later, but a permanent loss of that magnitude would have been crippling to the dealership's finances and reputation.

To help avoid thefts such as this one, your dealership can use an electronic key management system, keeping keys secure behind fingerprint scanners, key cards and passcodes.

Once new vehicles are delivered to the lot, the keys can be added to the system by an administrator. The key control system creates a log any time a key is taken out, specifying which employee took the key and the date it was taken. Rather than wondering how a thief was able to steal your keys, know that your assets are truly secure.